Cary, N.C. -- Canisius built an early lead and got solid pitching all afternoon to defeat the Youngstown State baseball team 14-3 on Friday afternoon at the USA Baseball Complex in the season opener for both squads.
The Golden Griffins scored three runs in both the second and third innings then extended the lead with a five-run fifth. They added three more tallies in the ninth inning after YSU made the score 11-3 through six.
Chris Gruarin was 4-for-5, and Brooklyn Foster drove in four runs for Canisius, which was picked to win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Patrick O'Brien, making his Penguins debut, was charged with five earned runs in three innings to suffer the loss. YSU reliever Ryan Krokos did not allow a run in pitching the sixth through eighth innings.
Canisius starter Billy Martin earned the win, allowing three runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings. YSU did not score on reliever Tim Seil in 2.2 innings.
After O'Brien retired Canisius in order in the first, the Golden Griffins scored three runs off the sophomore righty in each of the next two frames. An RBI single by Shane Zimmer and a two-run home run by Foster gave Canisius a 3-0 lead with one out in the second.
YSU had two runners on with one out in the bottom of the second and did not score, and the Golden Griffins added three more runs in the third. Following an error and a hit batsman, Foster drove in two more runs with a one-out single in the third to make the score 5-0. Connor Panas doubled in Foster one batter later.
In the fifth, Canisius scored five runs on an error and six hits, the biggest of which was a two-out, two-run single by Drew Pettit.
YSU scored twice with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. Graham led off with a double and went to third on a wild pitch to set up Kevin Hix's sacrifice fly. Banks then singled in Drew Dosch, who walked, to make the score 11-2. Dosch brought in Phil Lipari on a sacrifice fly in the sixth to bring the Penguins to within 11-3, and Canisiuis three runs in the ninth for the final margin. Two of those runs came on a Gruarin triple.
The Penguins will continue their busy weekend in North Carolina tomorrow with two games. They'll play at NC State at 11 a.m. and against Monmouth in Cary at 3 p.m.